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Non-Profit Public Charity

Managing EPI

Dogs with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) have a malabsorption and maldigestion condition where the pancreas is no longer producing enough pancreatic enzymes to digest fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Because of this, dogs (and also cats) will often present with unexplained weight loss, diarrhea/cow-patty like yellow/pale stools. Although EPI was once thought to be just a German Shepherd condition, it is now found in all breeds. That is why Epi4Dogs was created, because of Izzy, a little Spanish Water Dog that wasn’t supposed to have ‘that German Shepherd condition’.

January 2, 2020

It is with deep sadness to share that Rilind has passed away, (FB page Rilind Reborn )

Eight years ago, Rilind was found tossed in a dumpster, left like trash . He was a mere 37 lbs.


He was rescued by the Pit Sisters who lovingly cared for him and their vet diagnosed him with EPI  (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency). In the many years that followed, Rilind has been fostered and then adopted by wonderful people who continued to lovingly care for him. Rilind became the “spokesdog”  for dogs in need, with EPI, and against breed-specific legislation.

He was show-cased on all Epi4Dogs marketing materials and this website and his story and pictures literally stopped crowds at vet conferences and causing people to ask “what is EPI??” which helped us bring better awareness to EPI.  His story and pictures have also been shared world wide with other veterinarian schools in many countries outside the USA printed in their vet journals, posters, discussed in their vet school classes.  Rilind was loved by thousands and our hearts are broken now that he is gone…. but his legacy will continue to live on and help those  struggling with EPI . 


Getting Involved

A treatable condition

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) in dogs and cats is when acinar cells atrophy, sometimes called Pancreatic Acinar Atrophy (PAA), in the exocrine part of the pancreas and is no longer producing sufficient digestive enzymes: Lipase, Amylase, Trypsin & Protease that are needed to properly digest nutrients from food. This leads to maldigestion and malabsorption causing weight loss, loose stools, coprophagia, SIBO / SID (small intestinal dysbiosis), low B12. EPI in dogs and cats is manageable with the right balance of pancreatic enzymes with every meal, an agreeable diet, B12 supplementation if needed, along with appropriate SID management with prebiotics, or prebiotics with probiotics, or antibiotics if needed to get SID under control.

Who We Are

Epi4Dogs is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Public Charity EPI Research and Awareness organization with zero dollars for administration fees as Epi4Dogs is 100% volunteer-based. Recommendations on this site are supported by EPI veterinarian protocols, veterinarian EPI researchers, veterinarian publications, along with actual EPI pet owner’s day-to-day observations and experience. Epi4Dogs is GDPR Compliant.


Epi4Dogs has and continues to assist and collaborate with various vet schools on EPI genetics, gastrointestinal, and nutritional research to further the understanding of EPI. We have been published multiple times in general media publications and have co-authored veterinarian research publications.

Mission statement

Epi4Dogs Foundation Inc.’s purpose is advancement of science and education of EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency for dogs) by raising funds for EPI research that will yield useful insights or positive outcomes in better managing the EPI health condition in dogs and cats, and promoting EPI education through EPI awareness efforts by educating the public and offering assistance to pet owners, vet schools, veterinarians and veterinary researchers.

A community of volunteers

Our goal is to have the most current EPI information all in one place to better assist the veterinarian community, to help the EPI pet owner readily recognize EPI signs, and to encourage all to work together for the best possible outcome for the EPI dog (and cat)!

Years since original 2008 website launch

Years since new website re-launch 7-2018

Total registered members

Website page hits since re-launch

Member countries

Publications, collaborations, conferences attended & seminar stalls held

Total website page hits


Important introductory information

Here ye, here ye

News & Announcements

Ode to Maddie Moo

Just thought we’d share…………. a beautiful tribute to a very special dog,”Maddie Moo” , that Paul & Ann were lucky enough to share their lives and home with………

Epi4Dogs at the 2019 AVMA Conference

Epi4Dogs, Founder, President and Vice President were in attendance (booth #2092) at the 2019 AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association Conference) August 2nd thru August 6th in Washington, D.C.

                                                                                                              Diane S (left) with Madelon H (right)

University of Illinois collaboration

In an effort to find possible triggers to EPI, Epi4Dogs has collaborated for the past 3 years with the University of Illinois on the Maya Metabolomic Study. The study is almost completed and the results are expected to be published end of summer/fall time 2019.

Your EPI dog on a textbook cover???

Epi4Dogs was contacted by the co-author of an upcoming veterinary textbook. They were looking for high resolution “before and after” photos of dogs to use on the cover of a veterinarian textbook, for a “pre-publication” release announcement for the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA).

So many of us have seen our EPI dogs go through these “before and after” stages …. 

Although Epi4Dogs has no control over the photo selection, we truly hope that someone, somewhere in EPI community, has “before and after” photos of their EPI dog that will fit the publisher’s criteria, and (with your permission of course) be published on the cover of an upcoming textbook 

All photo’s were accepted only until Monday, March 4, 2019……… June 2019: We have been informed that photo selection has now been delayed as the focus is on content. Will update here when photo selection has been made.


2019 HallMark Rescue Dog Show

“CupCake, a little Chihuahua with EPI and Diabetes won the 2019 HallMark Rescue Dog Show ” Best in Special Needs” award.



Epi4Dogs President's visit with Rilind December 2018

December 26, 2018, our President, Madelon Hale got to visit with Rilind, the famous EPI dog.  Here they are together:

New EPI Dog Research- Aug 22, 2018

EPI Dogs & Lipid Soluble Vitamin Research just published Aug 22, 2018 in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  Key investigators Drs. Patrick Barko & David Williams, Univ of Illinois. Epi4Dogs assisted with the patient registry for this study and funding. Epi4Dogs was not involved with the design nor interpretation of any of the findings. The full research can be read on the Epi4Dogs EPI Research page: 

Seminar slides now available

Slide Presentations from the EPI (EXOCRINE PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY) SEMINAR on Sept 7, 2017  in Lebanon, TN are on the EPI Seminar page: 

EPI is manageable

Before & After

Images of our pups when diagnosed and after proper treatment

Watch this tremendous tribute to the efforts of many members in successfully managing EPI from diagnosis to stability.

This is Rilind, rescued by The Pit Sisters a wonderful organization, who joined our EPI forum and properly diagnosed Rilind with EPI…

…and this is Rilind, 3 months later after proper treatment for EPI was implemented!

Rilind has been adopted to his forever home….. please feel free to follow his story on Rilind Reborn Facebook page!


Chunky Monkey Club!

Success stories from the EPI forum

EPI4dogs on

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One of the first questions many people ask when their dog is diagnosed with EPI is "What about treats?" We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but EPI dogs shouldn't have any treats at all until they are stable, which means at least 3 months of consistently good poops. After that, there are some possible options if you want to give your EPI dog treats. Check out the Treats page on our website to learn more. ... See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Our Shepherd was diagnosed with EPI 6 years ago so we’ve been working with it for some time. Haven’t really found a helpful vet so most of what we’ve done is just a result from my own research.

I’m concerned because he is losing weight and very very loose stools again along with terrible smell.

Should I try changing our dose of enzymes? Could he need more? He’s never taken B12- I’m wondering if we need to supplement with some of that? I just feel like he’s losing weight extremely quick and I’m anxious and unsure where to even start. Every vet we have been to has never treated the issue so we feel like we are starting over!
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Our Contacts

Contact Madelon the President or Olesia the Founder of EPI4dogs directly using the details below. Also visit our contact page to send our volunteer staff an email.

 To contact individuals responsible for specific activities please see the Our Team page.



Call our Founder & Research Director, Olesia Kennedy on

(+1) 919-302-9892

Email our  Executive President Madelon Hale at